Ex-Major League Baseball Pitcher Esteban Loaiza Arrested in San Diego - NBC Bay Area

Ex-Major League Baseball Pitcher Esteban Loaiza Arrested in San Diego

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    Ex-Major League Baseball Pitcher Esteban Loaiza Arrested in San Diego
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    Esteban Loaiza in 2006 playing with the Oakland Athletics.

    Former Major League Baseball pitcher Esteban Antonio Loaiza was in the custody of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department Monday for multiple drug charges. 

    Deputies confirmed Loaiza's arrest Friday was part of an ongoing narcotics investigation. 

    The former major leaguer was driving a vehicle believed to be smuggling narcotics, deputies said. That led deputies to a search of an Imperial Beach home Loaiza had leased in early February.

    Inside the home, deputies said they found 20 kilograms of cocaine with an estimated value of $500,000.  

    Loaiza, 46, was booked into the South Bay Detention Center in Chula Vista, California before 6 p.m. Friday. 

    Loaiza was being held on $200,000 bail of possession over 20 kilograms along with two counts of transporting and possessing narcotics with the intent to sell.  All three charges are felonies. 

    Born in Tijuana, Mexico, Loaiza attended Mar Vista High School in Imperial Beach. After his 1995 debut in the major leagues, he went on to pitch for the Pirates, Yankees, Oakland A's, Dodgers and others.

    Loaiza was also the husband of Jenni Rivera, the Mexican-American pop star who died with six others in a 2012 plane crash.  The 43-year-old superstar filed for divorce from Loaiza two months before the crash.

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